At the KTS AGM on 20 April it was agreed to once again circulate a printed newsletter to all our members.  We will strive to produce one quarterly to keep you up to date with the Kemp Town Society’s objectives, namely:

To secure for the public benefit the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest in the area comprising Kemp Town Conservation Area, including the setting of the area.

We start with extracts from the Chairman’s 2013 Report given by Paul Phillips.

Incorporation of the Society

The incorporation of the Society is now complete.  It is now newly registered with the Charities Commission, after a testing time, with effect from 29 February 2012 (Leap Year) under Number: 1146155.

Could you please amend your standing order with your bank so that your next annual payment will go into the new account, which is still held at the Kemp Town branch of Lloyds TSB

Kemp Town Society

Account Number: 20907868

Sort Code: 30-94-63

The Treasurer, Joan Griffiths, will send you a form to send to your bank if you find that would be more useful. ( or 15 Rottingdean Place, Falmer Road, Rottingdean BN2 7FS)


There are about 700 dwellings on the Estate and about 200 members.  All members are urged to chat with their neighbours and friends, to encourage a higher percentage to join the Society.  Do invite them to the Garden Party and outline again the following benefits.

The Railings Project

We are extremely pleased to announce that our Donor has contributed his gift of £100,000 to the Society for the replacement of the Enclosures Marine Parade frontage.  The project is being managed by the Kemp Town Enclosures under a Financial Agreement between KTS and KTE.  Contractors will soon be appointed to build the supporting wall.  This is an important first step in restoring the original railings removed during the war.  Further fundraising efforts will now commence in earnest!

Blue Plaque Committee

Our Hon Secretary represents KTS on this committee.  On 15 June at 1.30 pm a blue plaque will be unveiled at St Mary’s Hall to commemorate Rev Venn Elliott and his daughter Charlotte Elliott.

Conservation Area Group (CAG)

Many representations have been made by KTS at CAG, which meets twice a month to consider planning applications.  KTS is excellently represented, principally by Derek de Young.

Obviously, comments and interventions are made on matters which arise on the Estate or where the Estate is affected.  These may include small matters of internal alterations, or planning applications outside, but affecting the Conservation Area.

There is currently an application for St Mary’s Church on Bristol Place to be recast as a Community Centre.

The City Plan

BHCC submitted the new City Plan to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.  The KTS Hon Secretary, Jill Sewell, and our CAG representative, Derek de Young, presented lengthy submissions to Council in order to address, amongst other comments,  the on-going contradiction in the Marina, which acknowledges the height restriction, while targeting a total of 1,973 homes to be built in the combined areas of the Marina, Black Rock and the Gas Works sites.  (A copy of the letter to the Council is on our website).

We have now just learned that the Brunswick ‘minor’ amendment to their approved plans for 856  flats on the Marina’s “spending beach” was passed by the Planning Committee.  This means that drilling work for preparation/testing for footings for the buildings will commence shortly, with the real construction scheduled to start in early September 2013.  It also means that over 1,000 can still be allocated to be built in the Western Marina.

Robert Powell, who has already put up a terrific fight, has issued another letter, to which KTS is a party.  He is raising many legal issues with Brighton’s Chief Executive and their failure to act corporately in the approvals process as is required under the Brighton Marina Act.  The Act calls for other approvals from other government bodies which have not taken place yet.  The letter and its contents calls for the planning consent for the development to be called in by Vince Cable MP and/or Eric Pickles MP in Westminster.

Tour Buses redirected

Much effort was placed into the matter of the Tour Buses by residents of the east side of Lewes Crescent, led by Chris Goss and supported by the Society.  During the height of the summer season this was every half hour.  However, after prolonged efforts, including letters to the Bus Company, the Licensing Authority at the Department of Transport and a deputation to the Full Council, which included photos demonstrating the unsuitability of the buses on the Estate’s road, the many efforts were rewarded.  The route has been changed, despite the influential Chairman of the Brighton Bus Company. Our local Councillors were, thankfully, most supportive.

It has raised the possible desirability of restricting access to unsuitable vehicles and creating an obstruction on the Estate’s lower roads.  However, we advise the need to be careful for what we ask – it might have unintended consequences!

Heritage Alliance

The Society became a member of the Heritage Alliance.  The Alliance’s members include English Heritage, National Trust and most of the heritage societies across the country.  The significance is that we are able to tap into many resources and learn about developments for the heritage community and gain the Government’s ear.  Having asked the Minister through the Alliance whether the setting of heritage assets would be sidelined by the new planning framework assurances were given that this was not intended to be the consequence. 

The Importance of the Kemp Town Setting

After four years of badgering some of the Regency lamp posts have been returned to Marine Parade.


There is very little progress on this, as although some preparatory works have been carried out, Treasury funding has still not been finally approved.



Kemp Town Society has initiated an exciting new project with the aim of listing every owner of every house on the Kemp Town Estate from its inception to 1974.  The finished archive will be available on the KTS website.

Work has already started on building up the ‘skeleton’ information from the Brighton Street directories and the Census Documents.  With the help of Nick Tyson (Regency Town House) we have already photographed sets of deeds from two different houses and some interior features all of which will be included as further detail on the respective properties.

If you would be interested in helping with work on the project or have deeds, documents, photographs or other illustrations relating to your house that you would like to make available to us please email Vanessa Minns at

We look forward to hearing from you.


The 2013 Garden Party will burst into flower on Saturday 22 June.  We are abandoning red, white and blue this year and asking you to dress Green and Flowery.

The Vintage Hot Four will be playing, there will be cakes and some amazing activities for the children again.  Please bring a plate of savoury food, salad or fresh fruit for the food stall, more if you are bringing guests and don’t be afraid to be adventurous with this, unusual food is always popular.  Cakes and all sweet things will be sold on the Cake stall in order to help fund the imminent battle against developments in the Marina. The Children’s Food Table was a huge success last year and Tania has agreed to mastermind this again.

The Rock have kindly offered to run the Bar again with lots of Pimms, wine and soft drinks.

What is not to enjoy here?  We look forward to seeing you in the Sussex Square North Garden (off Eastern Road) from 12.30 pm SATURDAY 22 JUNE.


SATURDAY 27 JULY, 2.30 pm matinee : BARNUM : at Chichester Theatre in the Park

(music: Cy Coleman; lyrics: Michael Stewart; book: Mark Bramble) starring Christopher Fitzgerald.

Departs Sussex Square bus stop at 12 noon, return after post-theatre supper at The Ship, approx.    7 pm. Price includes coach, theatre and two-course supper (drinks not included)                £72.00

SATURDAY 28 SEPTEMBER, 2.45 pm matinee : ANOTHER COUNTRY in the Minerva Theatre

The play by Julian Mitchell that was adapted into the film with Rupert Everett and Colin Firth in their first film roles.  It concerns the fictionalized recruiting of spies such as Guy Burgess and Communist John Cornford in the 1930s at English Public Schools.

Departs Sussex Square bus stop at 12 noon, return after a post-theatre supper in The Brasserie at approx. 7 pm. Price includes coach, theatre and two-course supper (drinks not included)  £66.00

THURSDAY 24 OCTOBER 4 pm GLYNDEBOURNE Touring Company’s performance of the wonderfully witty production of Humperdinck’s HANSEL UND GRETEL (this year to keep costs down there will be no pre-supper in the tent).  We return at approx. 6.30/7.00 pm.            £76.00

Forthcoming events…….

SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER, lunchtime concert as part of the Brighton Early Music Festival with the Trio Goya, a wonderful young award winning group playing music by Haydn and Beethoven in the Old Market.


The Marina

The local community’s views of the sea are soon to be replaced by towers on the ‘spending beach’ of the Marina.  Shock horror – drilling and preparation work has commenced.  Brunswick Development’s, now Brighton Marina Company’s, revised plans have been hastened through earlier in the year as a ‘minor’ amendment to the 2006 planning consent.  The changes are claimed to be minor in order to keep the stalled planning consent  alive, which otherwise lapsed after six years, and so preserve the full B&HCC consent to build above the cliff height which attaches to it.  They are, in fact, ‘major’ and should require  the change to be subject to a new planning permission and a further vote by the full Council under the provisions of the Brighton Marina Act.

In no uncertain terms, Robert Powell (and Professor Watts, original project architect for building the Marina) is almost single handedly demonstrating where the Council has allowed planning illegalities.  For those of you who do not know Robert, he is an architect and planner, previously head of East Sussex County Council Planning and as such is a resident expert in the field.  As many will recall, KTS resolutely stood against and continues to stand against the building of tall buildings in the Marina; particularly the Brunswick Development which Derek Grainger and David Morris, our Honorary Presidents, nobly resisted at the time.

KTS has become part of the Marina Action Group, the newly formed association of all the local resident associations to highlight clear doubts over the legalities in granting planning permission to the Brighton Marina Company (Brunswick Corp) in their revised plans.  The harbour entrance waterways will be narrowed and the water depth reduced by the proposed construction of the relocated underground(underwater) car park.  Protected species have also been ignored, and only after the fact has consent been sought from the Marine Management Organisation as required by the Brighton Marina Act.  So the battle has been engaged.

Watch this space……

The Kemp Town Enclosures’ Railings

You will see that the work to restore the front of the Kemp Town Estate on Marine Parade has started.

The replacement wall is the first phase of the work.  This alone is an enormous task, retaining the flint, brick and stone mix of the original wall.  We have the funds to undertake this first stage of work.  We are now making plans to raise the additional money to cover the cost of the railings.

The fabric of our heritage takes the dedication of a few to protect it for the many and we are the custodians with the responsibility to leave the Estate in a good condition for future generations.

KTS is your organisation through which this work is being conducted and we will keep you informed of our plans and to ask for your participation in ways of raising awareness and funding this mammoth task.

Paul Phillips, Chairman


We have two final fund raising events left for this year.  The first is THURSDAY 24 OCTOBER – we have just one tickets still available for this annual event, thereafter it is a waiting list (please advise if you wish to have your name included).  It is Glyndebourne’s Touring Company’s performance of the wonderfully witty production of Humperdinck’s HANSEL UND GRETEL. This year, to keep costs down, there will be no pre-supper in the tent.   However, as there will about one hour before the performance you may wish to bring your own picnic and eat on the upper levels, or even the garden if the weather is kind.  There are also sandwiches for sale at the long bar on the ground floor.   The coach leave Sussex Square bus stop at 2.15 pm and we return at approximately 6.30/7.00 pm.  £76

On SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER we have arranged to attend a Brighton Early Music Festival (BREMF) concert at 1.00 pm at THE OLD MARKET, 11A Market Street, Hove.  As this is a Brighton Event we are not hiring a coach as the Number 1 and 1A bus goes along Western Road, stopping to alight from either Norfolk Square (walk on a couple of streets) or alight at Brunswick Square and walk back.

The performance is by TRIO GOYA – Instruments of Passions – Haydn Trios in C and A flat and Beethoven in C minor with Kati Debretzeni, violin; Maggie Cole, fortepiano and Sebastian Combetti, cello.  All three young artistes are well known to aficionados of this festival.  Whilst they are worlds apart in terms of dynamic extreme, these three works illustrate a shared passion for startling key relationships and sheer improvisatory genius in the perfect sound world of fortepiano and period strings.

After the performance we make our way back to our very own local eatery, the new Busby & Wilds in Rock Street.  The price includes the concert and refreshments after at Busby & Wilds.  £18.50


THURSDAY 24 October  – Waiting list application only.

BREMF : TRIO GOYA SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER 1.00 pm                 …tickets @ £18.50 each =  £……


This project to build a database with as much information about every house on the Estate that can be gathered, is well on its way.  A few determined volunteers are soldiering their way through the Street Directories  and Census resources and the compilation is taking shape.

Lewes Crescent is virtually completed for the first stage, Sussex Square has three people on it but Arundel Terrace is still only just started.  The work is not difficult – it just needs a computer and some care and attention!

If you have any particular information concerning your property or would like to do some work on the project please contact me.            Vanessa                     


We mentioned in our last Newsletter that a new plaque  was unveiled on 15 June so Jill (our Hon Secretary) and I decided to do a little commemorative plaque walkabout on the Estate.  Here’s what we found..

Starting at St Mary’s Hall, the wall on Eastern Road ‘The Rev Henry Venn Elliott 1792-1865. Founder of St Mary’s Hall (1836-2009) and his sister Charlotte Elliott 1789-1871, composer of hymns.

We then walked down Chichester Place to Chichester Terrace.

4 Chichester Terrace  ‘Richard Addinsell, composer lived here from 1960-1977’

14 Chichester Terrace-1 Lewes Crescent formerly the home of the Duke of Devonshire, now known at Fife House. The plaque appears to have been removed.

13 Lewes Crescent ‘Thomas Cubitt, builder of 37 houses in Kemp Town, occupied this house from 1846-1855’.

11 Sussex Square ‘The Rev Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) stayed here frequently between 1874-1887’.

14 Sussex Square ‘Lord John Russell 1st Earl Russell (1792-1878) Twice Prime Minister lived here 1838’.

22 Sussex Square ‘Thomas Read Kemp founder of Kemp Town lived here 1827 to 1837’.

46 Sussex Square ‘Antony Dale OBE FSA 1912-1993. Author, Historian and Conservationist lived here from 1914 – 1962’.

17 Lewes Crescent ‘Lord Elwyn-Jones, Lord Chancellor, and Polly Binder, Artist and Writer lived here 1966-1984’.

18 Lewes Crescent ‘Dame Anna Neagle 1904-1986 and Herbert Wilcox 1890-1977 Film Producer, lived here 1953-1969.

25 Lewes Crescent ‘Roedean School founded here as Wimbledon School in October 1885 with two teachers and ten pupils’.

5 Arundel Terrace ‘W Harrison Ainsworth occupied this house 1853-1867 and wrote here the following romances: The Star Chamber, Lord Mayor of London, The Flitch of Bacon, Cardinal Poe, The Spendthrift, John Law, The Protector, Mervyn Clithero, The Spanish Mold, Constable of The Tower , Old Court’.  (The tablet was erected in 1910).

An additional event idea….

We shall be organising an informal lunch at B&W Kemp Town, 6 DECEMBER.  If you are interested in joining us please let me know beforehand by email – or Tel 625130.         Joan


2 Responses to SUMMARY OF 2013 NEWSLETTERS

  1. sally richardson says:

    How can we find out the date of the garden party in 2014?
    It would be great to get it in our diaries.

  2. Paul says:

    Dear Sally,
    The decision about the Garden Party is being determined at the AGM which is on Saturday morning May 10th. If you are a paid up member, you are very welcome to come. The Committee has had to rethink the Garden Party with the retirement of Vanessa Minns, who was the architect of it over the last few years. We need someone to help to step into her shoes! It requires a number of people to share the load of all the various components to bring it together. The Chairman.

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